Archive for painting

Surreal Thing Happy Birthday Dali!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2020 by echostains

Dali is a superb draughtsman.  Some years ago I visited the Dali Universe, County Hall, London. salvador-dali-quotes-famous-best-sayings oneThis 3,000 square metre space housed sculptures, (1935 -1984), lithographs, drawings and wonderful  furniture inspired by Dali: gold and glass objects and  even copies of the famous lobster telephone and the Mae West lips sofa!

There were no major paintings on display, apart from the oil he did for Hitchcock’s ‘1945 film ‘Spellbound‘.  I took great delight in looking through Dali’s drawings which are simply exquisite and show not only his draughtsmanship skills, but how exacting and precise his execution of drawing was. His imagination may have been wild, but his skills struck me as very honed and precise, not something I associate with Surrealism.  Surreal, I know!

 

Dali and his wild cat Babou

 

Too much has been written about this famous Spanish artist: some by myself (please see my earlier birthday posts here and for further Dali eccentricities here ).

Dali loved wild animals.  His favorite pet was a wildcat, an Ocelot, called Babou whom he would take to restaurants, tethering the animal to a table and causing alarm to fellow diners.

The surreal image below shows Dali emerging from the Paris underground taking two Anteaters for a walk (1969).  Andre Breton, (Founder of the Surrealist movement) who was known  as ‘le tamanoir’ – ‘the anteater’)  used this image as bookplates for several books and Dali was to depict the style of the anteater in his famous 1929 painting ‘The Great Masturbator’

Dali taking a Parisian walk with his pets Dali taking a Parisian walk with his pets

 

One of Dali’s famous stunts was staged at London’s International Surrealist Exhibition, 1936 when he gave a lecture whilst wearing a deep-sea diving suit. He very nearly suffocated.  His wild exaggerated gestures were mistaken for his usual amusing form of eccentricity.  Luckily for him a poet, David Gascoyne rescued Dali – with a spanner!

The Great Masturbator 1929

surrealism1938

A mysterious fire broke out in the artist’s bedroom in 1984, fortunately Dali was rescued by a friend, Robert Descharnes.  Dali was returned his beloved  Figueres , Spain (his birthplace), where his friends and  artists looked after him. In November 1988 he went to hospital with heart failure.  On 23rd January 1989, the artist died of heart failure at the age of 84.  He is buried in the crypt in his Teatro Museo in Figueres, much loved and much admired by most artists and non artists alike.

 

Images, with thanks are from here and here     the Ocelot image here, others from here    and here   

For historical characters with unusual pets here

Here’s some stuff you might not know about Dali here

 

Art I LOVE – Pierre Bonnard

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2020 by echostains

French artist and printmaker  Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) was  one of the founding members of Les Nabis. 

Les Nabis were a group of avant-garde Post Impressionists who distorted colour and composition to  decorative effect. 

Bonnard was interested in unusual and unexpected angles and aerial perspectives – greatly influenced by Japanese prints. It is this which links him with Vuillard and the Nabis. 

His interest in capturing the light is very impressionistic but his expressive use of paint  and his intense close brushwork give his work expression. 

His wife Marthe features heavily in his work, often seen in the bath or eating a meal. 

Bonnard didn’t paint from life but preferred to draw his subjects first, sometimes photographing them. He always made notes of the colours.  He would then translate these colours onto canvas from his notes.

Video by  with thanks!

Read more about the Nabis here

Weep not for me

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2020 by echostains

Pablo Picasso b.(1881-1973 Spain) famous iconic painting ‘Weeping Woman’  is the artist’s protest about the bombing of Guernica.  It was completed in 1937 and  depicts the horror , pain, fear, grief and emotion women were experiencing though the tragic loss of their loved ones in the war.  This is a poem I wrote for a completion that I was running  at the time.  I have plans to bring this feature  back  on Bookstains as they were great fun!

Weeping Woman 1937 by Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

A Weepy Conversation

(Picasso)

Weeping woman why do you cry?
Muse to genius such as I!
Your tears spill down and spoil my paint!
Too much emotion!  No restraint!

I give you fame – yet still you weep!
A bottomless well that runs too deep!
No gratitude – just endless tears
For sharing my creative years!

(Weeping woman)

My precious tears are not for you!
Do not suppose that they’re YOUR due!
Your latest muse usurps my place
These tears are JOY upon MY face!

Lynda M Roberts 2010

 

PS There’s a new poem over on Bookstains

 

Thanks

My earlier posts about Picasso Picasso Pops up

Happy Birthday Dear Pablo Picasso

Happy Belated Birthday Picasso

 

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Happy Birthday Chaim Soutine!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2012 by echostains

Soutine by Modigliani

Today is the birthday of Expressionist artist Chaim Soutine (b 1893 – 1943 Belarus)  Soutine who was inspired by classical painting in the European tradition and he favoured colour, texture and shape over representation.  His work acted as a bridge between traditional approach and the evolvment of Abstract Expressionism.

Soutine was born near Minsk (when it was part of the Russian empire) and one of eleven children, Soutine studied at the Vilna Academy of Fine Arts in Vilnius between 1910 – 1913  He emigrated  to Paris with fellow artist Pinchus Kremegne (1890 – 1981) and Michel Kikoine 1892 – 1968) where he studied under Fernand Cormon at the Errcole des Beaux-Arts.

Little Girl with Doll 1919

Portait of a Nurse c 1916

He became friends with Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920)   and he painted Soutine’s portrait several times when they were all struggling artists in Montparnasse. Modigliani’s  most famous portrait of Soutine was painted on an apartment door belonging to Leopold Zborowski (1889 – 1932) their art dealer.  Zborowski was later to take the artist to Nice to escape Paris when it was being bombed in WWI.

After struggle and poverty, often helped by his friends and  fellow artists, Soutine finally managed to sell 100 paintings to American collector Albert C. Barnes who established his Foundation Museum in Merion, USA in 1922..  With the proceeds, the artist now began to enjoy a better life and dividing his time between Paris , the Pyrenees and the Riviera.

Man with ribbons

Although a passionate artist, Soutine left few works.  He suffered from anxiety and tempers and destroyed a lot of his paintings.  There are a few stories about this artist which give us a sketch of his personality and the effect it had upon his work.  One of them concerns one of his most iconic set of images  series  Le Boeuf Ecorche’ .

Three studies for the Crucifixion by Francis Bacon 1962

His neighbours complained about the stench of the animal carcass which he kept in his studio and called the police.  But Soutine remained unrepentant, advocating art over hygiene.  He painted 10 of the carcass paintings,  inspired by Rembrandt’s Carcass of Beef (1655) sometimes known as The Flayed Ox after studying the Old Master’s in the Louvre, Paris.  One of the paintings in Soutine’s series Le Boeuf Ecorche’(1924) sold for £7.8 million in 2006.

Little Pastry Cook

His work is characterised by its frantic brushwork, often violent colour and distorted images which covey emotion and he liked to paint bell boys, waiters and hotel workers – ordinary everyday people. In 1937 Soutine was hailed as a great painter, even though he did not take part in an important exhibition The Origins and Development of International Independent Art which was held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume.  Very soon after that, the France was invaded by the Germans and Soutine, as a Jew had to flee Paris to avoid arrest by the Gestapo.  He lived as best he could and eventually left a safe shelter to return to Paris for an operation for a bleeding stomach ulcer.  The operation was not a success and he died of a perforated ulcer on August 9, 1943  . Soutine was interred in Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris.

Video by bestjonbon with thanks!

Also thanks to;-

Lots of information about this artist here

Modiglini portrait of Soutine from here

Man with Ribbons and Little Pastry Cook images from here

Bacon triptych image from here

Landschaft mit Häusern, 1918 and Portait of a Nurse, c. 1916   Little Girl with Doll, 1919  all from this blogspot

Good images from Oscar Grillo Oscartoons  and here

PLUS

There’s a big birthday party going on over at my sister site Bookstains – and you’re invited!

UPDATE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT BURNS (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796)  Here’s a video I made of Scottish artists;-

Happy Birthday Odilon Redon!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , on April 20, 2011 by echostains

Ophelia-1900-1905

Today is the birthday of French Symbolist artist Odilon Redon (b. France 1840 – 1916).  Redon (real name Bertrand-Jean) was also a printmaker, draughtsman and worked in pastels.  Born to an affluent family Redon acquired the nickname Odilon from his mother Odile. 

Angel-In-Chains

He studied drawing at 15 but changed his path to architecture because his father approved this.  This was to prove a mistake because Redon didn’t pass his entrance exam to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, though he was to study painting there for a short time.

Apollos-Chariot4

Redon then took up sculpture  and the etching and printmaking but had to put his artistic career on hold whilst he joined the Franco-Prussian army in the 1870 war.  When he came back to Paris after the war, he began to work with lithography and in charcoal (he was to call these his noirs). 

The Cyclops The Guardian Spirit of the Waters

Recognition came in 1878 with Guardian Spirit of the Waters.  After 1900 Redon produced no more noirs, preferring to work in pastels and oils.  The legion of Honour was awarded the artist in 1903, exhibited with the Nabis at Durand-Ruel’s and in 1913 he was given the largest single representation in New Yorks Armory Show as well as having a catalogue and etching produced by Andre Mellerio.

The-Yellow-Cape

Redon’s work is both mysterious and revealing, exploring his inner feelings and his psyche.   This is what the artist says about his inner inspiration behind his work in his journal A Soi-même (To Myself);-

“I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased.”

More information from here and here

Images from here

PLUS Don’t forget there’s another poetry challenge over on my Bookstains Just click Julie Andrews (she’ll thank you for it 😀 )  This particular challenge is a real wacky fun one and is a departure from my usual art based one!

Discovered and Uncovered Heidi Keyes

Posted in ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED with tags , , on March 12, 2011 by echostains

Bills First Wife

WordPress blog     Art of the Day   can always be relied upon to feature interesting art.  It also has it’s own Facebook page, which is where  I first saw this artist.  Once seen, I just had to take a further look!  Heidi Keyes is an artist who spends her time either painting or flying (she is also a flight attendant).  She divides her time  between Milwaukie, Denver when grounded, and the rest of her time is spent flying around the world.

Her wild contour paintings are full of colour energy and life –  her technique   a combination of intuition and emphasis.  Though the artist does paint realistically occasionally, she  prefers to experiment with exaggerated line.  The artist’s way of working is explained below;-

“I depict various stages and situations of the human figure in my work. These images are selected to express the incompleteness of humanity, a continuous search for truer answers. I look to the moment when one finds oneself on the precipice of a life-altering decision, reluctant to continue, but too far gone to turn back– the past and the future expressed in a single brushstoke of delicious uncertainty. I use washes to achieve this effect of impermanence, and allow them to drip freely down the canvas, embracing spontaneity in my work, as in my life.” 

Rainy Day Girl

The paintings are quite arresting and there is a sense of immediacy –  that they are of the moment.  Energy and life  spring out of these loose spontaneous paintings.  They are startlingly honest and refreshingly unrestrictive.

“The way I look at painting is the way I view my life– nothing is ever certain, and often the best results come from mistakes.”

The artist started experimenting with her technique because she became frustrated with the excruciating detail of art and she found  that her pursuit for perfection was actually impeding her artistic expression.  Her love of blind contour drawing lead her to experiment with the brush – and her art became ‘freed’!

I was pleased and surprised at the level of sophistication achieved through the use of simplistic lines and connected forms. The figures I created were uncertain, unsure, and often pensive, but my lines were confident and bold.

Crossing the Liberty Bridge Budapest Hungary

 Not only does the artist paint figuratively, she has also produced a series called ‘Fly’ which consists of paintings she has done in hotel rooms around the world.  I particularly like her use of colour in these paintings, my favorite being The Liberty Bridge Budapest Hungary from this series.

Heidi Keyes website can be found here and is well worth the visit 🙂

NEWS Did the Real Charlotte Bronte Just Stand up Debate is now on Bookstains!  Please join in!

Grant Wood – Happy Birthday!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by echostains

Grant Wood

It’s American Regionalist artist Grant Wood’s birthday today.  As I have already celebrated this artist’s birthday (see this post) and wrote about him at some length, I thought it might be interesting to look at more of the artist’s most famous work – American Gothic.  Grant Wood was born on this day in Anamosa Iowa USA (1891 – 1942) and is famous for painting the American Midwest, along with fellow Regionalist artists Thomas Hart Benton (see this post) and John Steuart Currie.

American Gothic by Grant Wood 1930

Though known as a painter, Wood also worked in ceramics, wood and metal as well as producing lithographs, ink and charcoal drawings.  The Regionalism movement opposed European abstraction and promoted figurative painting in rural American , primarily the Midwest.   Associated American Artists marketed  Woods work for many years and he encouraged John Steuart Currie and Thomas  Hart Benton (see my post about this artist) to return to the Midwest in the 1930, finding teaching positions for them.

American Gothic (1930) is a national icon, it gave Wood recognition.  The painting has been interpreted as a satire against small town American ruralist, though Wood always rejected this interpretation.  He said that the painting, painted during the Depression, depicted the pioneer spirit.  This image  has been parodied, distorted, and borrowed from so many times – and here in this video are many different versions of the painting. Some are innovative, some silly, some thought-provoking and some – well just bizarre 🙂  One can only marvel at Grant Wood for inspiring these though!

To celebrate this birthday I am hosting another Bookstains Poetry Challenge –  you guessed it …..American Gothic what else!  Update;  Three poems have arrived for  the challege – just click the button to see 🙂

American Gothic by Grant Wood 1930

More about Grant Wood here and the Grant Wood Gallery here

American Gothic image here Grant Wood photo from here

Thanks to bestjonbon for the video!